And why Greg Whiteley’s cameras were absolutely no big deal for the East Los Angeles man of faith
Netflix’s “Last Chance U” went the basketball route this season, but it almost didn’t go to East Los Angeles College (ELAC). Then Coach John Mosley’s pastor weighed in.
After “Last Chance U” director Greg Whiteley approached the Huskies’ head basketball coach with the opportunity to feature his team’s 2019-20 hoops season on Netflix, Mosley approached his priest — and the Juco coach was shocked by his pastor’s response.
“You gotta do it,” Mosley recalled for TheWrap. “They need to see that side of you. They need to see that message that you try to share.”
“Ultimately, [it was] my pastor, of all people,” the coach continued. “You would assume a pastor may say, ‘No, we don’t want the spotlight, we want to be humble.’ But he said, ‘Share that message. Share what God is doing to your life and share how you impacted those young men.’”
Share he did, and the Netflix series’ cameras didn’t bother Mosley a bit. After all, Whiteley’s got nothing on God.
“I feel like I’ve been having a camera on me my whole life, in regards to my faith,” Mosley said, referring to his Christianity. “I feel like I’m being watched, and I have to — I’m accountable for all of my actions and how I wear my faith.”
Mosley wears his faith, as well as his heart, on his sleeve throughout the season (both the basketball and the TV seasons). Toward the end (again, of both), Mosley tells his players to go online and pick out which rings they’d like to wear on their fingers when they ultimately win the championship. And then the coronavirus pandemic canceled the state tournament.
One year later, Mosley still isn’t sure what’s happening with those potential rings.
“We’re still waiting for that actual announcement on what the plan is,” he told us. “It’s been tough here in California to get communication. We’re still waiting on the go-ahead to be crowned champions.”
Though ELAC had momentum — and some websites ranking them No. 1 in the state — that coronation may not happen. The team entered the state championship tournament as the second seed, but that tournament never started — so if anyone’s getting the trophy, the top seed has the top claim.
“We’re still fighting for it, man,” the undeterred Mosley said. “We’re hoping we get some recognition for… one of the best seasons that we had ever.”
The first four seasons of “Last Chance U” featured two seasons apiece at East Mississippi Community College and Independence Community College. (Season 5 took place at Laney College. Season 6 turned to hoops.) So the big question — and our final question — is, will “Last Chance U: Basketball” return to ELAC for its own Season 2?
“I’m not sure. It was mentioned. I hope we do it. I wouldn’t mind doing it again, it was fun,” Mosley said. “I thought it was amazing. It was nothing like you would expect and it’d be great, man.”
Season 1 of “Last Chance U: Basketball” tips off Wednesday, March 10 on Netflix. It’s pretty great, man.
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